Friday, February 10, 2012

I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson

Book description: Wales, 1974. Petra and Sharon, two thirteen-year-old girls, are obsessed with David Cassidy. His fan magazine is their Bible, and some days his letters are the only things that keep them going as they struggle through the humiliating daily rituals of adolescence—confronting their bewildering new bodies, fighting with mothers who don’t understand them at all. Together they tackle the Ultimate David Cassidy Quiz, a contest whose winners will be flown to America to meet Cassidy in person.

London, 1998. Petra is pushing forty, on the brink of divorce, and fighting with her own thirteen-year-old daughter when she discovers a dusty letter in her mother’s closet declaring her the winner of the contest she and Sharon had labored over with such hope and determination. More than twenty years later, twenty pounds heavier, bruised by grief and the disappointments of middle age, Petra reunites with Sharon for an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to meet their teen idol at last, and finds her life utterly transformed.

I actually expected this novel to be lighter and fluffier than it was given the subject matter- the story of a teenage crush on David Cassidy doesn't sound like it's going to be particularly deep. Once I began reading though, it became clear that Petra had unexplored depths, and that her obsession with David Cassidy filled a deep void in her life. Petra's awkward attempts to maintain her place in her friend group while dealing with a disapproving yet beautiful foreign mother who told her she didn't look so bad is poignant and authentic. The revelations about where exactly all those facts about David Cassidy that Petra and her friends (and millions of other girls) collected like pearls was amusing and yet also sad; I was delighted that Bill worked his was back into the modern-day section of the story in the end.

Well-written, both funny and heartbreaking in places- this novel is a wonderful way to spend a weekend afternoon. Trust me- if you ever nurtured a deep and lasting love for any pop star, you will see at least a little bit of yourself in Petra and her friends.

1 comment:

Marg said...

I had this out from the library a couple of times last year, but I never did get around to reading it.